TOPIC: True Ownership

Scripture Texts: Deut 10:14, Ps 50:10, 11, 1 Corinth 6:19, 20, Haggai 2:8

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What does God’s ownership encompass? Does money ever belong to us, even when we’ve earned it by our own hard labor? Why is having a relationship with God essential in being a faithful steward?

1. Wealth should not be rare among God’s people. It is, in fact, a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22) and  applies directly to our handling of money, possessions or wealth. Therefore, worldliness is the testing ground for our faith.
2. Worldliness might be defined as a belief that we own all the things we possess but the only thing we own is our choice of who to worship. The one we worship ultimately owns our possessions, in addition to owning us.

3. Then who do we belong, serve and worship? We belong to the God made the whole earth and it is all his. As Jesus put it, we either serve God or mammon/money (Matt 6:24). it is important we choose to be faithful in our acquisition of wealth.
4. Here are four biblical facets of God’s ownership:
a) David wrote, (Ps 24:1-2) “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;….” If God made it, He owns it

b) Solomon wrote, “Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15).
c) The apostle Paul concurred, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” (1 Tim 6:7).
d) Job, at his lowest point said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away…” (Job 1:21)

e) Jesus pointedly said that our money is not ours, but “that which is another’s” (Luke 16:12), namely, God’s.
5. Therefore, God is the true owner of everything and everyone.  God’s. A true owner of everything and everyone. Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and mammon” ( Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13). He clearly meant that either God or money is our master, but not both. There is no middle ground.
6. We do not own anything but just managing the money and possessions that God has entrusted to our care. God does not own just ten percent, He owns it all, money and possessions.

7. This concept has ramifications that God made the whole earth so it’s all his. Though He gave Adam the first job to rule over them, He never owned them. He was a care taker. God creates wealth and gives for our use. None of it is our possession and it can be taken away.
8. Since stewardship is the most basic of all biblical concepts about material things, what is a steward? Stewardship  is to manage the property of others. Joseph is a prime example of a steward.(Gen 39:4-6). The Steward’s real job is Faithfulness.

Are we stewards? Yes! Then God has clear instructions for us. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust (literally, stewards) must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). As managers of God’s assets, we should be responsible. This is so because:
a) Paul said that it is required of stewards (managers) that one be found trustworthy (1 Cor. 4:2).
b) Proverbs 27:23-24 exhorts us, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.”
c) To be faithful in wealth and finances God has given to us, we must keep the Owner’s objectives in mind. (Ps. 24:1, Luke 16:12, Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13).
d) If you desire to be used of God in evangelism and discipline others, you need to get your financial life in order. ((1 Tim. 3:1-7).
e) We must be faithful in finances, hard-working and obedient to the Owner. (2 Thess. 3:8, 10-12; Acts 20:34-35; Prov. 6:6-11; 24:30-34)
f) Must provide for our family and have extra to give to those in need. (2 Thess. 3:6-12; Acts 20:34-35; 1 Tim. 5:8).

When we consider Jesus’ part in our creation and redemption, He does seem to have the right to claim us as belonging to Him. His love for us, however, demands that we still have a choice in serving Him. Even though we owe Him our very breath (Acts 17:25), Christ does not force our loyalty and service.

Our choice in who to worship is ultimately revealed by how we manage the things of the world. Can others tell from our lifestyle and possessions that we recognize God’s ownership?

Although we must never judge others by their outward attempts at proper stewardship, we must constantly assess our own surroundings and possessions and determine whether God is glorified, or whether we are merely using these tools to satisfy our own agenda. Have a blessed day!

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Pastor Jason